"Quiz" for Calvinists...

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    From http://answers.org/theology/calvinism.html

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    Although our primary focus as an apologetics ministry is to combat false belief and and alternative religious systems, stimulating discussion regarding various positions within orthodox theology is an important way to become familiar with the complexities of biblical theology. Over the last few months, several non-Calvinists in our Mars Hill Club have developed some questions that can help get the discussion ball rolling with Calvinists. We welcome contributions of suggested answers, further questions, and questions for non-Calvinists, too (whether Arminian, Lutheran, or any other orthodox position). From time to time we will print additional "quiz sheets." The Socratic method sees questions as opportunities for growth, not as threats. We're sure you will "grow" your mind with these questions.

    1. It is often said by Calvinists that dead men can't respond. As you say, "you are dead in your trespasses & sins." Eph. 2:1.

    In Romans 6, it says that "in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

    If being dead in sin means one can't respond to God then does being dead to sin mean that the Christian cannot respond to sin?

    2. Even though God does perfectly know all human thoughts, can man have thoughts that have never been thought before (i.e. ex-nihilo thoughts)?

    If these thoughts are not free (e.g., they are determined) then has God caused all thoughts, including evil ones, which would make God the author of sin and evil and man not responsible?

    If, on the other hand, these thoughts are free, then how can God remain sovereign according to the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?

    3. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:4, "God our Savior wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."

    It also states that God wants all men to be saved in 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 23:37 and in Ezekiel 33:11 and 18:30. Obviously not all men are saved.

    How does Calvinism explain this? Does the God of Calvinism have two wills that are in direct contradiction and hence have a multiple personality disorder?

    4. Calvinism excludes individual faith from the salvation process, classifying such faith as a work.

    How can Calvinists classify faith as a work when Paul specifically excludes faith from works in Romans 3:27-28 and 4:5?

    5. Jonah 2:8 says that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."

    If, as Calvinism teaches, God determined before time began who would be reprobates, and therefore does not extend the grace to them by which they could be saved, how logically can we understand this verse's statement that these reprobates, "forfeited the grace that could be theirs.?"

    6. The Bible says in John 6:44, "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." The same word "draw" is used in John 12:32 which says, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto myself." Matthew 23:37 says that men can resist God's will.

    How do you answer this problem in Calvinism?

    7. You say that even the "good" acts of sinners are "bad" because they come from a completely depraved nature. Is it a "bad" act to rationally apprehend the truthfulness of apologetics?

    If so, why has God commanded us to practice apologetics to sinners, which causes them to do a bad act? Doesn't that mean that God causes sinners' bad acts?

    If you say "yes," doesn't that make God a bad guy?

    8. When Calvinism is shown to have logical contradictions, Calvinists usually reply that God's thoughts are unsearchable, and therefore the logical problems that Calvinism has, for example divine election and human responsibility, exhaustive sovereignty and human free will, and God's having two contradictory wills, are solved by invoking the phrase, "well that's a mystery."

    If you can solve your logic problems by copping out with the term mystery, why can't the Arminian types, atheists and others pull the same move?

    9. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 that reprobates "perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."

    From your Calvinistic worldview, how can it logically be said that a reprobate refuses to love the truth and so be saved, when your God determines that the reprobate can't love the truth, can't be saved, and therefore doesn't refuse God at all?

    10. You have said that nothing thwarts the will of God, and you also have said that a man's will cannot be free or else God would not be absolutely sovereign.

    Doesn't this mean that God determines (or is the cause of) evil and the evil acts of men for his sovereign pleasure?

    11. In Romans 9 where God says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" why do you automatically assume that God does not want to have mercy on all but only have mercy on the select few when God clearly tells us in Romans 11:32 that, "God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all?"

    If you say that all means all classes of men, but not all men in every class, then why does it not mean all classes of men but not all men in every class in Romans 3:23 where it says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?"

    Does this mean some have not sinned? Perhaps, for instance, the Virgin Mary?
     
  2. KenH

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    1. A Christian responds to sin because his body has not yet been renewed. That will happen on the last day at the resurrection.

    2. God knows all things. So any thought man would have God has already known about before it occurred.

    Thoughts are free within the confines of one's nature.

    God knows all actions that will occur but He is not the direct cause of them all. He did not make Adam and Eve sin in the Garden of Eden. Man is free to act within the confines of his nature.

    3. God always accomplishes His purposes. Any idea of conflicting wills is a problem of one's interpretation of the canon as a whole. It is the interpreting with the problem, not God.

    4. Faith is not excluded from the salvation process. :rolleyes: The Christian is justified by faith.

    Faith is not a work. It is a gracious gift from God to His people.

    5. God does not determine who the reprobates are.

    No one is prevented from repenting and believing by God. Anyone who repents and believes will be saved. Anyone who does not repent and believe forfeits the opportunity to be saved.

    6. God draws all of His elect.

    Of course, man resists God's will. That is what sin is. God did not will that Adam and Eve sin in the Garden of Eden.

    7. Acts are "bad" in the sense that everything we attempt is polluted by our sin nature even after we are saved. "Bad" and "good" are relative terms within the confines of one's nature.

    God is not the primary cause sinners' bad acts. He does use them(such as the crucifixion of Jesus) for His purposes.

    8. Sure, why not?

    9. My God does not determine that the reprobate can't love the truth and can't be saved, The reprobate is refusing God.

    10. Absolutely not! A person who knows better should be ashamed to even present such a thought - even in a question. The question is perjorative to the max!

    11. Anyone who repents and believes will be saved. No one is stopping anyone from doing so but himself.

    Context, context, context. :rolleyes:

    No, that is a silly question. :rolleyes:

    I already know, Scott, you and other non-Calvinists will disagree with my answers so I'll save you a post to state so. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    www.spurgeon.org

    [ August 15, 2002, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  3. ScottEmerson

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    Ah, we've come up with some...problems, for lack of a better word, with your answers. Let's examine them.

     
  4. jmbertrand

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    Thanks for posting these questions. I found them interesting and helpful. In a few cases, they suggest a failure to comprehend the Calvinist position—but Calvinists have been guilty of the same faults, so I will simply note the shortcomings in my answers.

    1. It is often said by Calvinists that dead men can't respond. As you say, "you are dead in your trespasses & sins." Eph. 2:1. In Romans 6, it says that "in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." If being dead in sin means one can't respond to God then does being dead to sin mean that the Christian cannot respond to sin?

    In both cases, Paul is employing a physical metaphor to describe a spiritual reality. There is always a danger in pressing a metaphor too far, so the key to interpreting them is to see how the analogy is used in the larger argument. Calvinists argue that Paul uses the term “dead in sins” to denote the inability of a sinful man to know Christ apart from saving grace. To believers who had cut their teeth on stories of Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead, the idea of salvation as a work performed on a powerless man would have been familiar.

    When Paul urges dedication in the process of sanctification, however, he uses the death analogy in a different way. He is certainly not encouraging Christians to simply do nothing and just let sanctification happen. Rather, he is entreating them to be in practice what they are in position—i.e., not to act like men in bondage to sin, but to act as men who have been set free.

    2. Even though God does perfectly know all human thoughts, can man have thoughts that have never been thought before (i.e. ex-nihilo thoughts)? If these thoughts are not free (e.g., they are determined) then has God caused all thoughts, including evil ones, which would make God the author of sin and evil and man not responsible? If, on the other hand, these thoughts are free, then how can God remain sovereign according to the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?

    Evil thoughts, like evil deeds, have their origin in the fall. God is no more the author of ‘mental sin’ than He is the author of ‘physical sin.’ The Calvinist treats them both the same.

    Now, the question suggests that Calvinists use a specialized (presumably wrong-headed) definition of sovereignty, but as far as I can see the Calvinist uses the term simply to mean, “God rules.” While it is true that there are Calvinists who would argue that Arminian soteriology denies God’s sovereignty, I don’t agree. Arminians believe that God has ceded power to man, but men are meant to exercise that power in submission to God. The Calvinist concern is with what we perceive to be the necessary consequence of this view of ceded power—and the lack of Scriptural foundation—but I would not agree that Arminians, as a rule, reject God’s sovereignty.

    3. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:4, "God our Savior wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." It also states that God wants all men to be saved in 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 23:37 and in Ezekiel 33:11 and 18:30. Obviously not all men are saved.

    There is no “God of Calvinism,” only the God of Scripture, and both Calvinist and non-Calvinist agree that His will is complex in accordance with His nature. God genuinely desires the salvation of all men. The Gospel is offered in good faith to all men with the earnest desire that they will repent and believe. But how do we explain the fact that this earnest desire on God’s part does not come about?

    We have a couple of options. The first, of course, is to give the universalist answer. God desires the salvation of all and all are saved. This runs aground when it is compared with Scripture.

    The second is option is to say that, while God desires the salvation of all, for some reason it lies outside His power to bring that salvation about. Now, people who hold this view will disagree vehemently over what the “reason” is. For example, the Arminian does not say that God lacks the power to save, but that He chooses not to use that power directly. He could insure the salvation of all, and He wants all to be saved, but He wants them to be saved in some way other than by His insuring it—typically, He wants men to be saved by freely choosing Him.

    The third option is the Calvinist’s. He agrees with the Arminian that God could save all and that He desires to save all. He agrees, too, that God chooses not to save all. But instead of introducing an indeterminate variable like free will, the Calvinist says that God chooses to save some men and not others according to a plan for His glory that He has not revealed to us. In other words, God desires to save all and has the power to save all, but He chooses to save some and not others for His own good purposes, into which we cannot inquire too deeply. What if that ‘unrevealed purpose’ is actually free will? The Calvinist thinks not, because that solution to the problem seems to flow not from Scripture (which is contradicts) but from philosophy.

    So, the Calvinist distinguishes between God’s ‘decretive’ and ‘prescriptive’ wills. But he is by no means alone in seeing a more complex operation in the will of God. The last time I checked, it is the man who acts on every true desire who has the personality disorder, not the one who acts according to what he judges best, in spite of his righteous desire to do otherwise.

    4. Calvinism excludes individual faith from the salvation process, classifying such faith as a work.

    As a Calvinist, I was shocked to learn that “Calvinism excludes individual faith from the salvation process.” After all, Calvinists believe that no one is saved apart from personal faith, and we even go so far as to reject the idea that faith is a meritorious act upon which God’s election can be based, which is how we interpret the Arminian view.

    5. Jonah 2:8 says that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." If, as Calvinism teaches, God determined before time began who would be reprobates, and therefore does not extend the grace to them by which they could be saved, how logically can we understand this verse's statement that these reprobates, "forfeited the grace that could be theirs"?

    A common mistake non-Calvinists make is to assume that biblical election invalidates history. “If this is true,” he thinks, “then why didn’t God just pick and choose one day and fast forward to the judgment seat the next? What’s the point of it all?” It is important to appreciate the complexity of what Scripture has revealed. We live in a world that a naturalist could consistently claim is free of God’s presence, yet we know that it is not. At the risk of sounding like a Platonist, there is a reality above this one, a supernatural plane, and when we talk about God’s decree, we are entering its precincts. It should not surprise us when that veil is drawn back to find many things that do not make sense to us—after all, look at the way God plots the death of Ahab and reconcile that to your preconceived notions.

    God works out his purpose within history, in time. Men are born, they make both good and bad choices, and they find themselves under the condemnation of God’s law. Some men repent while others are hardened in sin. This is all true and real. God’s grace is freely offered, and men who remain impenitent genuinely “forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” But God has revealed aspects of a deeper machinery at work, a mechanism where nothing has been left to chance. It is to this revelation that we must turn to understand the doctrine of election.

    6. The Bible says in John 6:44, "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." The same word "draw" is used in John 12:32 which says, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto myself." Matthew 23:37 says that men can resist God's will.

    It’s difficult to say what problem this question has in mind, but it seems to be rooted in several misunderstandings of Calvinism. First, Christ illustrates quite forcefully His principle “many are called, but few are chosen” with a parable that ought to send a chill down our spines. Calvinists distinguish between ‘general’ and ‘effectual’ calls, noting that all men are called to repent and believe.

    Now, Christ may use the same word in John 6:44 and John 12:32, but the question is whether He is talking about the same thing. If you quote the entire passage in John 6, you can see what Christ is talking about:

    The Father draws a man and Christ raises that man up on the last day. This man is said to have “heard and learned from the Father.” Now, when Christ says that, when He is crucified, He (not the Father) will draw all men to Himself, does He intend us to understand the same thing? Are “all men” going to be raised on the last day, having ‘heard and learned from the Father’? The universalist thinks so, but Calvinist and Arminian alike must say no.

    7. You say that even the "good" acts of sinners are "bad" because they come from a completely depraved nature. Is it a "bad" act to rationally apprehend the truthfulness of apologetics? If so, why has God commanded us to practice apologetics to sinners, which causes them to do a bad act? Doesn't that mean that God causes sinners' bad acts? If you say "yes," doesn't that make God a bad guy?

    If an unsaved man gives money to the poor, that’s good. But it won’t count as righteousness in God’s eyes. A man who does not know God cannot please Him, no matter what sacrifices he makes.

    Applying the principle to apologetics you get a similar result. All men are called to repent and believe. The apologist is engaged in giving men reasons to do so. If an unbeliever gives intellectual assent to one of the apologist’s arguments—let’s say he gives the nod to the moral argument for God’s existence—that assent will not justify him. Apart from saving knowledge of Christ, nothing will.

    8. When Calvinism is shown to have logical contradictions, Calvinists usually reply that God's thoughts are unsearchable, and therefore the logical problems that Calvinism has, for example divine election and human responsibility, exhaustive sovereignty and human free will, and God's having two contradictory wills, are solved by invoking the phrase, "well that's a mystery."

    First, there is a difference between paradox and contradiction. I am assuming that the author of the question knows this and is simply in an uncharitable mood—an assumption that is reinforced by his repetition of the daft notion that God has two ‘contradictory’ wills. An appeal to paradox is nothing more than to say that Scripture reveals two premises without explaining their relationship to one another.

    Now, if a paradox truly exists, are we “pulling a fast one” by pointing this out? Of course not. The real question is whether there are any unanswered questions in Scripture, and what those questions are.

    The paradoxical relationship between God’s decree and man’s responsibility is not the invention of the Calvinist. Paul addresses it in Holy Writ, which is where we Calvinists found out about it. When Paul answers the question “How can [God] still find fault if no one resists his will?” by appealing to God’s power over us as Creator, you might think of this as a ‘cop out,’ but you must at least admit that it is an inspired one.
    The strength of the Calvinist position is that its unanswerables tend to correspond to those of Scripture. In other words, the ‘logical contradictions’ some would argue exist in Calvinism are equally present in Scripture. Is it a ‘cop out’ to be silent where Scripture is silent? Of course not. Naturally, non-Calvinists ought to challenge our ‘mysteries,’ just as we challenge theirs. In the process, they will see that ours are also Job’s and Paul’s.

    9. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 that reprobates "perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." From your Calvinistic worldview, how can it logically be said that a reprobate refuses to love the truth and so be saved, when your God determines that the reprobate can't love the truth, can't be saved, and therefore doesn't refuse God at all?

    First, there is no ‘your God’ or ‘my God.’ There is only the God who has revealed Himself in Scripture, and we must rely on that revelation for our knowledge of Him. To ask how God can hold people responsible for rejecting the Gospel if He did not ‘elect’ them in the first place is to stir up echoes of Romans 9. The short version is that God has passed ‘the reprobate’ over in their sins, but their sins are their own and not God’s. People are not condemned because they were decided against; they are condemned because of their sin. The flip side might seem to be that those who are saved are saved because of their non-sin (i.e., merit), but this we reject. God gets the credit for salvation, man the ‘credit’ for damnation.

    I have never seen an objection to Calvinism that is phrased consistently with the classic Calvinist doctrine of God’s decree, the third chapter of the Westminster Confession. I would advise all opponents of Calvinism to familiarize themselves with the actual teaching, and then to critique it.

    10. You have said that nothing thwarts the will of God, and you also have said that a man's will cannot be free or else God would not be absolutely sovereign. Doesn't this mean that God determines (or is the cause of) evil and the evil acts of men for his sovereign pleasure?

    Just as the last question did not seem to take into consideration the actual belief of Calvinists re: the decree, this one appears to be ignorant of our doctrine of free will. Calvinists affirm that men are free moral agents. The only thing we deny is that the will of the unregenerate man is not in bondage to sin. God created man with a free will, and man freely chose to sin. He is fallen, and one aspect of the fall is man’s bondage to sin. As Christ says, when a man sins, he becomes a servant to sin. But Christ breaks that bondage. The new man is not in bondage to sin, but is free to be conformed to Christ’s image. Man’s free will is not a ‘threat’ to God’s sovereignty—after all, disobedience is not the act of a free man.

    Does this resolve the ‘problem of evil’? No. We still have the problem of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, but as far as I can see, Scripture does not give us an answer to the ‘how’ of their fall—the purpose of the story is to explain how we got to be the way we are. And the problem of evil is not the domain of Calvinists alone. Whether you believe God ordained sin, allowed it, or merely slipped up one day, you still have a ‘problem’ to grapple with.

    Is God the cause of sin? Calvinists and non-Calvinists agree that, at the very least, God has ‘permitted’ sin. On the other hand, we agree that He is not the author of sin. So whatever God’s role in the process, we should be able to agree that it is a) for His glory and b) not a stain on His character. For the record, the WCF and the Baptist Confession of 1689 specifically state that God is not sin’s author.

    11. In Romans 9 where God says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" why do you automatically assume that God does not want to have mercy on all but only have mercy on the select few when God clearly tells us in Romans 11:32 that, "God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all?" If you say that all means all classes of men, but not all men in every class, then why does it not mean all classes of men but not all men in every class in Romans 3:23 where it says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?" Does this mean some have not sinned? Perhaps, for instance, the Virgin Mary?

    God has mercy on all men, believer and unbeliever alike. Every act of mercy, every goodness we enjoy from the fall until today is predicated on what Christ did at the cross. No one can stand before God and accuse Him of having been unmerciful. Of course, the questioner needs to take a second look at Romans 11:32. Let’s do what he ought to have done:

    “They” in verse 28 are the Jews, and Paul seems to be speaking of them as a nation. “You” in verse 30 are the Gentiles. The disobedience of the Jews in rejecting their Messiah has opened the path for the salvation of the Gentiles. The sense here echoes that of Romans 10:13, where universal language is used to emphasis that salvation is open to Jew and Gentile alike. Paul is demonstrating that the disobedience of both Jew and Gentile has been instrumental in accomplishing the believe of both Jew and Gentile. In Romans 9, the principle of mercy is that it is based in God’s will rather than man’s. Here, the principle is that the mercy transcends the old covenant boundary.

    All men without exception have sinned. All men without exception have been shown mercy. But it does not follow that all men will be saved. The split between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is over the explanation of that last truth. The Calvinist says all men are not saved because God has determined to save some but not all. The non-Calvinist says that all men are not saved because, while God made salvation ‘possible’ for all men, He did not make it ‘certain’ for any of them. God has chosen to save, not individuals, but a self-defining class of people.

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    Mark
     
  5. Eric B

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    But we have and have found that they are not Job's and Paul's, but have been read into scriptures like Romans 9. This passage is not someone asking why God hardens individuals and still finds fault, but rather why He has hardend Israel and still finds fault. As an individual he can still repent, so in that context is is rebuked for questioning God's higher purpose, (which as you later point out, is to spread the Gospel to the gentiles), when a person is only responsible for their own individual sin.

    This is certainly true, but the problem is that people are trying too hard to put together the the way this machinery works with dogmatic suppositions and assumptions about a hypothetical group of people who can't possibly be saved, and thus, the Calvinist, while trying to keep it balanced, still falls toward a purely scripted world that is just playing out, as if history is ultimately an illusion, and our realm is the same as God's realm of eternity.
    Calvinists like Piper and Edwards have claimed that it has been revealed (in passages like Romans 9), and do inquire too deeply-- they say that God's purpose is for the redeemed to see the torments of Hell, because this is supposed to make them worship Him. (Where then is the "unrevealed plan"?) Calvinists do plead mystery on one hand, yet then proceed to explain the whole thing on the other.

    [ August 15, 2002, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: Eric B ]
     
  6. sov. grace

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    1. One should seriously consider to whom the scripture is being addressed and the receipiant's
    estate.
    In 2:1,5 GOD quickened (gave life)
    In 2:4 God was merciful
    In 2:2,3&5 We were dead in sin and on the outside
    conducted ourslves as the world and its sinful selfish saviour, Satan.
    In 2:6 God raised us to a new life in the rightousness of Christ because he had so ordained it to be. (Eph. 1)answered when and why God saved us. Ephesian 2 answers how God saves us and our
    position before and after regeneration.
    In 2:7 God showed His Grace to His People.
    In 2:8 God gave us faith, and it is clearly not our own. Nor did God give a seed of faith to all
    of mankind for them to choose what they might do with it.II Thes.3:2
    In 2:9 GOD rejects all works but those of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord.
    In 2:10 God made those nigh who were afar off
    and removed any distinction between Jew and Gentile by breaking down that middle wall and fulfilling His Promise to Abraham of the bringing in of the Gentiles.
    Eph. 1 speaks of our condtitional before regeneration and Rom. 6 speaks of our condition
    after GOD by His Own Purpose and Will regenerates
    His People. Before (Eph.1) we were dead to rigtousness and ALIVE to sin. Now (Rom. 6) we are
    ALIVE to and because of the Rightous One. I Jn 2:1
    One in asking questions should compare apples to apples or oranges to oranges. A cursory review of
    these two verses clearly reveals they speak in different contexts. A quick review of Strong's
    would also reveal the Eph dead is to be a corpse
    and the Rom dead is a different word meaning to
    languish or be slowly dying off. Dying to self is a continual action of the saint. Being a spiritual
    corpse is a resultant action of Adam's sin as our
    federal head. Which by the way was ordained of God
    or there is something outside of God's control which would not make Him ABSOLUTELY SOVEREIGN! But
    HE IS AND SO IT WAS. This to be fully addressed in one of your later questions.
     
  7. sov. grace

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    Quiz Question 2.
    New thoughts. Whether man has "new" thoughts is
    not the real question; but whether God is in control of every thought of man is the question.
    If He is Sovereign and He is: then He needs be over all, even evil which He is. He is absolute and there is none other. Ex.9:14, Deut.4:35-39,I Kings 8:60, Isa. chap.45&46 and 40:26. As specifically concerns His sovereignty over even
    evil thoughts, Pro.16:1-4, Isa.45:7 states that
    God Himself decrees He created evil. Also Micah 1:12, and all of I Sam.16. As for new thoughts,
    there is nothing "New" under the Sun and that which God hath made crooked can no man make straight. Ecc.1:9-15,3:11-19,6:10 7:10-15,Ps.94:11
    &40:5 and especially Isa.55:8,9; I Cor.3:19-21.
    AND YES MAN IS STILL RESPONSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ROMANS 9 especially 19-21. Under stand it I cannot
    for my ways are not as His; but believe it I must
    for I have been ordained to do so by His Sovereign
    Unconditional, Electing Grace. How can I refuse
    what MY MASTER speaks? lest I be found a greater scoundrel that the reprobate.
    For one to believe that God is Sovereign only over
    good and Satan is Master over evil is to espouse a
    rediculous doctrine. Is God somehow righteous if He authorize Satan to do evil. Is not God responsible for the action of his assigned agents?
    And if one espouses the infralapsarian idea that
    God simply allowed evil and did not actively creat it, is not Satan then as God in that He
    created evil in the world of a Sovereign God which
    God never intended. And does not chaos rule if God
    is not in control of every facet of Creation? Either God Rules absolutely or He is a Liar and we
    know that God is not a liar like unto man. Rom.3:4
    and I Jn.2:22 If you deny Jesus Christ our Lord's
    Sovereignty you are a liar and anti-christ. The scripture is plain. To equate that just because
    God creates evil He is Evil is ignorant and has no
    basis in Scripture. God can do as He likes with the inhabitants of His Creation and none can stay His Hand or say unto Him, "Why doest thou this thus?" Dan.4:35 For His Ways are not our ways and
    His Thoughts are not our thoughts and who can know
    the ways of the LORD? Quit you like men in deifying your selves and humanizeing The Sovereign God of All. Even as a believer you shall never fully comprehend Him but you must with
    all faith provided through Him and By Him, BELIEVE! Calvin himself shyed from God's Absolute
    Sovereignty; but Theodore Beza, Calvin's companian
    did not. The Scriptures plainly teach these things
    to be so. You say your words are harsh and so they
    are; but how much better to hear the truth and
    repent than to not hear, "Well done thou good and faithful servent" or even worse to suffer to the eternal torments of Hell.
     
  8. sov. grace

    sov. grace
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    Dear Mr. Emerson,
    In the Name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Scriptures I command you to REPENT! or suffer the torments of Hell for accusing God Almighty of being Crazy! The only multipersonality involved here is you. Just because you cannot understand scripture you accuse God of lunacy. You say you love Jesus but
    out of the other side of your mouth you deny His Truth. Now tell me who has a personality problem brewing? Your ways are grievios and borish before the LORD. One way or another you will understand
    His Sovereignty. Whether before you die or at the
    Second Death, you will KNOW AND CONFESS HE IS LORD! I pray God Grant you the first rather than the Later if HE SO WILLS.
    There are two things wrong in your assumption that God "wants all men to be saved".
    1. You do not compare Scripture with Scripture.
    2. You assume "Calvinism" as Armenianism tries to
    prove everything by logical and human "theological
    theory". If they do they should and neither should
    you. The Armenians are best illustated by a cartoon I saw years ago. A mother was viewing her
    teenage son lying on the floor reading his Bible.
    She remarked, "It is so nice to see you studying your Bible." The son replies, "I'm not really studying it. I have some preconceived notions and
    I'm just trying to find some Bible verses to prove
    them." If anyone approaches God's Holy Word with
    such disrespect he will sow what he reaps.Gal.6:7
    To call God crazy is the pinnacle of irreverence.
    One its' equal is to call yourself or allow yourself to be tiled "Reverend". Ps. Ps.111:9,89:7
    & Heb.12:28
    FIRST I Tim 2:4
    Determine in context if all men is described around it. It is in verse 1&2. Even in scripture we see Christians trying to be clichish. Peter only wanted to be with the Jews. The Samaritans
    only trusted the Samartians. The Greeks were considered dogs by them all Even after Peter had his vision from God about the Gentiles, He still only wanted to hang around the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem. The disciples were offended when Christ spoke to a Samaritan woman. The Pharisees hated Christ because He sat to he meat
    with publicans and sinners and accused Him of being a glutton and a winebibber. The rich loath
    the poor and the poor hated the rich. But Christ
    broke down that middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Gentile. Christ instructs the saints even now to love our enemy and our neighbor as ourselves. All of these are contrary to our human nature. By commanding us to pray for those in authority this is also against our nature. Men are nature anarchists and rules by
    nature are tryrants. A pastor is not to be a dictator of the Church but a servent. In Verse 4
    "all men" when properly determined means all kinds
    of men. If it is to mean He wants each and every
    person since Adam to be saved then God is a wimp and cannot accomplish His Will because a created
    being is thwarting His Will. Therefore, who is God
    man or God? I assure you Sir, you may serve such a wimpish god but I serve the Living God who is glorified above and by all things. Rev.5:9-14 (9)
    Eph 2:14
    SECONDLY II Peter 3:9
    Determine in context. You as an Armenian are trained to read only the portion of text you find convenient to your preconceived notion. Look within the text to find they phrase "but God is longsuffering to US-WARD. Who is the us-ward to whom He refers. The greatest portion of
    scripture is not written to or for the world. A
    woman down the street cannot come into possesion
    of love letters to my wife and then demand of me that I keep the promises that I made to my wife.
    The letters are specifically directed to my wife
    and not some or any other lady. We are Christ's Bride and promise's made in love to us cannot be
    applied by the counteriet harlots calling them
    selves His Bride.
    In other words, us-ward is who the book is written to. " II PETER 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them THAT HAVE OBTAINED LIKE PRECIOS FAITH WITH US...... It then clearly refers to Christians that GOD
    is not willing that any believer will perish and they will not because they are called in Christ.
    Jn.6:37-45, 10:23-31, 17:1-12 & Mt.18:11-14.
     
  9. Loren B

    Loren B
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    The really amazing thought in this entire context is that God has chosen to save any of us.
     
  10. kman

    kman
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    Amazing grace..how sweet the sound..
     
  11. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    Never did.

    Read the questionnaire. The question asks the Calvinist if his reading results in God having MPD. Rest assured, the Arminian doesn't see God having MPD.

    Already happened. I chose Christ. Cool, huh? Remember, he wills ALL to be saved.

    Not my assumption. Paul's.

    So what Scripture do you have to compare it to? Why do you not compare those SCriptures to Paul's?

    Do what?

    The Arminian would also say such about Calvinists.

    I never did, and neither did the questionnaire. The questionnaire simply stated that in the Calvinist theology, God seems to have multiple personalities.

    Huh?

    Wrong again. You have no exegetical backing behind it. It's a nice theory, but such is not to be found in the original translation. In the context, Paul says to pray for everyone.

    Depends on how you define will.

    I serve a God who says what He says and means what He means. (Right now I could say some polemic about you calling God wimpish, but then I'd be guilty of reading you wrong in the same way you read the questionnaire wrong.)

    Raised as a Calvinist. I was trained as a Calvinist. The more I began to understand the Word and understand the nature of God, the more I began moving away from it. As such, I am an Arminian now. I used to pull Calvinist readings from texts to prove my point. Not anymore. I read the Bible in the context of itself.

    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    Note that he is patient with "you," the audience, but then states that He does not want ANYONE to perish, and everyone to come to repentence. If he's merely referring to the saved "you," then why does he say "anyone to perish" and "everone to come to repentance" IF THEY WERE ALREADY SAVED? Your illustration has absolutely no bearing on anything, frankly.

    See above. If the people were already saved, then why would add the extra two phrases about repenting and perishing? He was writing to the church, but the everyone and anyone refer to a much larger audience... the entire world.
     
  12. Naomi

    Naomi
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    Amazing grace..how sweet the sound..</font>[/QUOTE]This makes me also want to sing along....I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now, I see......
     
  13. tfisher

    tfisher
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    Scott,

    This was interesting, but it was too many questions at once for me to keep up with.
     
  14. sov. grace

    sov. grace
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    Scott,
    You amaze me! I thought the Pharisees twisted
    scripture. I would wonder how much of a neophite you are? (novice) You may have been trained as a calvinist but one can tell it was not in a regenerate state. By your denial of plain truth I would not have a problem with believing you still abide in the same spiritual habitate of unregeneration. You have now just been further deceived into the abode of Wesley, Finney and Arminius. Please relay to me how you, a totally depraved sinner, choosing God of your "own free will" glorifys God as Sovereign if you activated your own will? If you are like the rest of your admired "theologians", they say God put a spark of divinity in every man. This of course is unbiblical but that never affected Armenian
    theology in the least. They go by their reasoning
    and "feelings" rather than what scripture says. You in fact believe you are the god of your own salvation. God voted for you, "your supposed election" and Satan the Father of all such lies, your errant theology, Jn 8:44, voted against you
    and you cast the deciding vote, right? Does that not make you your own saviour? giving you great room where in to glory in your self? For you boast
    that you have made your self to differ from another. Eph. 2:8-10 Dear sir, I would say you may
    have sat under a doctrines of grace teacher at best and have simply gone the way of all flesh which have not known God or rather that are NOT
    known of God. I would not loudly boast and of having departed from the teaching of truth to the the fellowshipping with "theologians" spewing forth dispicable errors. You indeed are calling God crazy. I have not any problem in comprehending
    the accusser's disciple's assaults against God's
    character. God is Sovereign since all things are
    according to pleasure and contstrained to His Will but HE is not of MPD such as say they that love God but boast in "THEIR OWN DECISION" "MY SOUL SHALL MAKE BOAST IN THE LORD: THE HUMBLE SHALL HERE THEREOF AND BE GLAD" Ps. 34:2 Your supposed theology boasts only in your "free will" and your glorifying your self above God. Your belief has no humility but only arrogance equal to that of Satan and his attempt to usurp God. You claim you know everything because you heard the other side. It is apperant you failed in your attention or God never enlightened you. I Cor.4:1-4. Believing "free will" is part of man's nature degenerate estate and basis for all of man's false religions. Being much your elder, I have studied the basics of all false religions both obvious and ones who falsely call themselves "Christian". I have found one very
    central and common theme and hub to all; the falsity of the free will of man. True Christianity
    denies man's glory in his self and boasts only in the LORD and not man's corrupt and captivated will. As to the reverend reference it means no man
    should call himself reverend by title as only God is REVEREND and no man is worthy of such a title. It was connected to your irreverend remarks towards the concept you so much of the thrice Holy God and HIS ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY over you and all Creation! Dan.4:35-39
    ;)

    [ August 24, 2002, 02:52 AM: Message edited by: sov. grace ]
     
  15. Dualhunter

    Dualhunter
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    Ken Hamilton defends his views with scripture, you defend your views by attacking the person who holds view contrary to yours. Perhaps you'll say that God made you have such a bad attitude and be so insulting and so you can't help it, but I shouldn't have to remind you that the Sovereign Lord is good and so His will is that you do good, and not being arrogant and insulting. I agree that to make a choice to trust in God, God must enable a person to do so, but I strongly disagree that your insulting and arrogant attitude has anything to do with God's Sovereignty.
     
  16. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    Sorry to disappoint you there, but I'm not in a regenerate state. Where do you get your boundaries for being in such a state?

    If a person isn't a five-point Calvinist they are not saved? From what do you judge my salvation? My belief in free will? Is this Scriptural? Exactly who has the keys to heaven here?

    Wesley - thanks. Arminius - thanks. Finney - not exactly, as can be seen on the thread dealing with him.

    Because God was sovereign enough to give a created being free will to choose Him. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." There are several examples of the Scriptures where people chose to say "no." We haev to define what depravity means, whether the SPirit visits all men, what the Spirit does, and whether man can respond to what the Spirit does. Man can never say yes to God without movement from the Spirit first.

    Then the burden of proof is for you to show a reference to this.

    And the burden of proof, again, is for you to show such things. You've provided no evidence - simple ad hominem attacks to something that you don't believe in. Not once in this thread have I seen Scriptural backing.

    I don't. Sorry you think I do.

    No, just like God passing over a person doesn't mean God forced someone to be damned to Hell. (or are you a double predestination kind of chap?) I don't think Satan has a "vote" and God wills all men to be saved. We choose whether or not God can save us. We cannot save ourselves, and a choice in the direction of God does not mean we are saving ourselves, but we allow GOd to regenerate us.

    The gift from God is not faith, but grace. Scholars in the Greek field generally concur with that. It's that realization that keeps me from boasting - that the grace of God pardoned me, not any work that I've done.

    I've never sat under a doctrine of grace teacher, sorry to say. And I DO know God.

    Nope. Read the question again. I don't think God is crazy. Other people are, but not God. Which "dispicable" error would you like to discuss?

    So I'm the accuser's disciple? Or is that the questionnaire? Non-Calvinists are on Satan's side - is that what you're saying? I was Calvinist once, so does that mean I lost my salvation? Seems like a double bind there.

    That's right - He does what HE wants. Arminians believe that, too. What if God wanted to give man complete free will - could He do that?

    Prove it.

    Since when? The only arroganec I see is that of a man trying to accuse another of being not saved. Didn't know that was your role. And to say it's equal to Satan is interesting.

    Prove it.

    Sources? (And what does age have to do with anything? Do you know anything about my studies?

    All talk, no proof!

    I've got to go get ready for Sunday School. I'm teaching about 80 Middle Schoolers - we're doing our salvation emphasis. (Yep - not only am I going to Hell, sovgrace, but I'm also apparently taking 80 students with me, as I am the Middle School Minister at First Baptist Church, Ocala!)

    SEC
    ** Edited to shorten

    [ August 25, 2002, 09:28 PM: Message edited by: ScottEmerson ]
     
  17. HeisLord

    HeisLord
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    Wow Scott,somebody (Sovgrace) was in a pretty apostolic mood COMMANDING :mad: you to repent. Hamilton I can handle, cause he seems to be a nice person, but Sovgrace has a chip on his/her shoulder!

    Thank you for the Scripture, for I/we have seen little of it on this thread. I was saved by a sovereign merciful God, but I had a choice to make:accept the free gift of Salvation or reject (as others in the Scriptures have already been quoted to do) and pay for that rejection in Hell.

    I am not a self proclaimed arminian, seems that you are suppose to be one or the other. But Arminians are not completely right scripturally either (ei. losing your salvation) I am a Bible believer. Your posts have been most encouraging. [​IMG]
     
  18. Dualhunter

    Dualhunter
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    Yeah, sometimes it seems that according to the calvinist, you're an arminian and according to the arminian you're a calvinist :D
     
  19. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Man!! This thread sounds just like the following on KJV only! :rolleyes:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000492

    Being as how I'm not a scholar, I don't have all these problems that so many Armenians and/or Calvinists keep tossing at each other.
    Basically all I know is that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, rose again, and I was given the option of trusting, believing, accepting, (or what ever label you so choose), HIM as the author of my salvation, or rejecting Him.
    Did He elect me as opposed to someone else? I don't know, ask Him! Did I have anything to do with my salvation? Well, yes; I did have to accept His terms! Was that work? Well, again if you go by the Pharasee interpretation when Jesus healed on the Sabbath, I guess so. After all Jesus just spoke, so that was "unlawful " for the Sabbath; so maybe trusting, believing, accepting, (or what ever label you so choose) is work. If this is true, then I guess I did work for my salvation.
    Seems a bit contrary to scripture to call this work, though, since we all know that man can do no work for his salvation.
    Is faith considered WORKS?? :rolleyes:

    It's so much easier to just accept God's word as written, & when you see apparent conflicts to just know that He is in control & don't fret over what you can't understand.

    If for some reason the questionable area is something you NEED, He will see that you get the truth of His intent. Don't need to agonize over all the differing "maybes" about it!
     
  20. Odemus

    Odemus
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    There are some good questions here, I'll try and answer them as time allows.

    1. It is often said by Calvinists that dead men can't respond. As you say, "you are dead in your trespasses & sins." Eph. 2:1.In Romans 6, it says that "in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."If being dead in sin means one can't respond to God then does being dead to sin mean that the Christian cannot respond to sin?

    In Romans 6, Paul is talking about mortifying sin.This is a continual process and a necessary consequence of salvation, because it is the believer's life long business to pursue holiness (Colossians 3:1-10;1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

    The unsaved are dead in their sins because they are unable and unwilling to mortify sin.Without Christ there can be no pursuit of holiness (or even a desire for holiness), it's simply impossible.

    Being dead in sin is an unalterable state except by the grace of God through faith in Christ.Being dead to sin is an attitude which strives to continually put to death the deeds of the flesh.

    2. Even though God does perfectly know all human thoughts, can man have thoughts that have never been thought before (i.e. ex-nihilo thoughts)?If these thoughts are not free (e.g., they are determined) then has God caused all thoughts, including evil ones, which would make God the author of sin and evil and man not responsible?If, on the other hand, these thoughts are free, then how can God remain sovereign according to the Calvinist definition of sovereignty?

    God is fully sovereign and all knowing, therefore there can be no thought foreign to Him (Isaiah 46:9-10).God cannot behave contrary to His nature, therefore He is incapable of sin (1 John 3:5).

    God cannot be the author of sin, James 1:13 says: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

    While we may have something of a paradox we cannot deny the Scriptural truths that God does indeed know everything, and that sin did not have it's origin with Him.
     

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